Finding Your Focus in a Crowded Brain

Focus can be so elusive. You have it, then it’s gone. You find it again, only to see it slip away in the blink of an eye.

Constant distractions and endless choices pulling at our attention don’t help, either. The internet has dumped more information at our fingertips than we can handle, and that’s a problem.

You have control, though, even when it might not feel like it. You can choose to let the information firehose continue to blast information at you from all directions, or you can turn it off, bit by bit. You always have choices.

Here are some ways to make focus easier:

  • Turn off all notifications — for email, apps on your phone, your ringer, etc.
  • Delete any apps from your phone that aren’t truly useful and are distracting you
  • Turn off the TV and social media
  • Shut your door when you’re trying to work. Don’t have a door? Get some noise cancelling headphones and let people know to only interrupt in case of a real emergency.
  • Use your time mindfully. When you find yourself mindlessly clicking from one app or website to another, and constantly refreshing to see what’s new, turn it off. Put it down and walk away.

Those are just a few things you can do to help regain (and keep) your focus, but I’m sure you can think of more.

But that’s only half the problem…

You can pretty easily turn off the external distractions, but there are internal distractions, too. Are there times of the day when you zone out a bit, or lose steam? Pay attention to when those times are, and what might be causing those energy fluctuations. Maybe it’s your body’s rhythms, or maybe it has something to do with what/when you eat. Maybe you’re the type of person who thrives with an afternoon power nap.

Observe, take notes, and experiment with it.

It’s also helpful to keep track of any particular activities or situations that make you feel tired or distracted, and how you respond to those.

Consider delegating things that are sucking the energy out of you. If you can’t delegate them, how could you make them more joyful? Set the stage with things that nourish and engage you – maybe it’s your favorite beverage and a candle. Maybe it’s putting on some music before you get started. Maybe you create a specific ritual that gets you in the zone.

Remember, you have choices, and there’s a lot you can control. Turn off the distractions, identify what you want, make a plan, and do the work.

Be intentional with your time and watch how focused you can truly be!